MAGIC BITTER, MAGIC SWEET by CHARLIE N.HOLMBERG
Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.
When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.
During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences.
From the author of The Paper Magician series comes a haunting and otherworldly tale of folly and consequence, forgiveness and redemption.
Kindle Edition, 306 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by 47North
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this via NetGalley as I was intrigued by the sweet cover, and the even sweeter blurb! It sounded just like my cup of tea (and cake!) but I think I've ended up surprised by just how different it was from what I was expecting!
I did find the start a little twee and wondered if maybe I'd made a mistake starting this book, but my mind was soon changed as the sweetness was replaced by tales of slaves, lost memories and ghostly apparitions!
It is the story of Maire who lives in Carmine and bakes magical goods! She has the ability to put any emotion or feeling requested into a cake or cookies for her customers. But she has no memory of how she got there or her life before Carmine, so has made a new life for herself with new friends. But there is always a nagging doubt in her mind of wondering what she has forgotten.
Soon her memory is the last thing on her mind as Carmine is stormed and most of the villagers are either killed or captured to be sold on as slaves. Maire herself is captured and then sold on to someone who seems to know her, but doesn't say how but he treats her appallingly and makes her work for him. He even burns her shoes so she can't escape over the Blazeweed that surrounds his property.
While she is going through this change in life, she is visited by a ghostly apparition called Fyel, who seems to appear to try and help guide her and try and try to piece together any memories she may start to remember.
I loved how whimsical this book and writing style was, and there were definite nods to well loved fairytales which is always a good thing in my eyes! It turned into quite a powerful and touching story and I highly recommend it for readers of all ages